Emily's story; moving from Auckland, New Zealand to the Gold Coast

Emily and her family moved from Auckland, NZ to the Gold Coast in January 2020. Here's their story.
Emily and her family moved from New Zealand to the Gold Coast


Why did you move from New Zealand to the Gold Coast?


Before living in Auckland, we were in Sydney, where my husband is from, I'm originally from Kentucky in the USA. My husband was a lecturer at the University of Auckland, which is why we moved to New Zealand in the first place, but we knew at some point we would move back to Australia to be closer to family.


He received a great job opportunity on the Gold Coast which is what spurred on our move. We also considered Wollongong in NSW, but in the end we decided the Gold Coast would be a better option for us. We particularly liked the lifestyle it would offer, a reasonable cost of living and more affordable real estate.


How did you find the move?


The hardest thing with any move is getting settled and making big decisions about schooling, where to live, where to work, etc. It takes time to get to know different areas and finding your way around. We don’t have any family nearby which is also challenging.


Where on the Gold Coast did you settle?


We first rented a furnished apartment in Varsity Lakes while we looked to buy our home, plus it took some time for our shipping container to arrive from New Zealand. We’ve moved quite a bit and have always been renting and we really didn’t want to rent again. We were really looking forward to buying a home and putting down some roots.


We now live in Clover Hill in Mudgeeraba. We chose Clover Hill as it had a great community feel, quiet streets with lots of families. There’s a lot of bush land around as well with access to trails. Good schools were within walking distance to our house and we are also close to Robina Town Centre and the M1. Plus the beaches are still close.


What school do your children go to?


We arrived in Australia from New Zealand late January, we literally had 10 days to find a place to live and a school for the boys. It was hectic! My husband had researched the schools online before we came. We then met with the principles and had a tour of the different schools. In what felt like a super rushed decision, we chose Kings Christian College in Reedy Creek. Unfortunately it turned out not to be a good decision. We're not religious people, and not knowing much about the school, we hadn't realised how intrinsic the religious aspect is at the school. It certainly wasn't made clear when we had our tour of the school. So after we moved from Varsity Lakes to Clover Hill, we decided to change schools.


Our kids now go to Clover Hill State School. We love that it’s within walking distance to our home and most of the kids in the neighbourhood go there as well. There’s often a big crew of them walking home together after school. We like that it’s a relatively small school, the teachers have been great and the kids have settled in well. The only down side is that Mudgeeraba and Reedy Creek have a concentration of schools right in the same area which can make traffic at pick up and drop off a bit of a pain.


Was it hard to find work?


My husband is an academic at Griffith University and he was offered the role before we moved here. I am a speech pathologist and I had no trouble finding work. There’s actually a shortage of allied health workers so there are plenty of jobs in this area at the moment. I wanted a part time position with flexible hours because we have school aged children, and I’ve been able to arrange this. Employment has worked out really well for both my husband and I.


What do you like about living on Gold Coast?


Definitely the lifestyle. We enjoy spending time outside so we hit the beaches regularly. The kids have new surf boards and my husband loves taking them out to Currumbin Alley. I also like to walk Burleigh Headland or I go for a bike ride along the pathway from Currumbin down to Coolangatta. We also enjoy exploring the National Parks; Lamington, Tamborine, Springbrook… to do day walks or a few nights camping.


I also like the size of the Gold Coast; it’s not too big, and not too small. We lived in Sydney for years and I’d really had enough of the traffic, parking, and volume of people there. But in the past we had also lived in small communities which had limited shopping and dining options. The Gold Coast offers a happy medium.


And last but not least it’s in a great central location! We sometimes head north to the Sunshine Coast or to Brisbane to catch up with friends, check out restaurants and museums. But you can also head south to visit Byron and all the beautiful spots that Northern NSW has to offer.


Any advice for anyone thinking about moving to the Gold Coast?


People often think of Surfers Paradise, amusement parks, tourists, etc. when they think of the Gold Coast, but since living here I’ve realised those images don’t fully reflect the culture here.

Yes there’s a beachy, holiday vibe but there are also well-established small communities in each different suburb. If you can, take some time to see which community feels right.


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